Leading Australian dietitian says that the key to sustained weight loss is in the small, positive changes we make in our lives daily.
After working clinically in various hospitals and private practices, Gina Cleo completed a PhD in long-term weight loss maintenance, where she implemented habit-based interventions to help achieve sustained weight loss. She is now an Accredited Practicing Dietitian and Researcher at the Center for Research in Evidence-Based Practice, at Bond University.
She says that one of the most important aspects of maintaining a healthy weight is to make small changes to daily eating habits – and creating habits that will stick. Dr. Cleo has partnered with Fresh Meals 2 U, a Queensland-based home delivery service providing deliciously fresh, nutritious and healthy prepared meals to customers that encourage healthy eating habits.
“Most diets show no long-term effects,” Dr Cleo says, adding that there’s a general trend of regaining about 50 per cent of your weight loss in the first year, and much of the rest in the following couple of years.
“Although I’m a dietitian, I wanted to take a different spin on things, so the programs did not prescribe specific diet plans or exercise regimens, they simply aimed to change small daily habits.”
Don’t let a diet be a compromise
“A lot of diets compromise your social life,” Dr Cleo says. She cautions against diets that make it difficult to go out and enjoy a meal or drink. Instead she insists that the success of weight loss programs comes down to subtly changing behaviour and creating new, positive habits. An example of such a positive change is to get healthy meals delivered to your door – this creates both a healthy habit and reduces the influence of unhealthy (eating) habits creeping into your daily routine.
The dietician is a self-proclaimed foodie and passionate about health and well-being. She hopes her ongoing research will help inform weight management strategies and health practitioners alike.